___                                                                                                                                                               ___
 
Task Group       Operations Date
                                                                                                                                          
      1945
       
(No TG Designation)   Dep Norfolk, VA for Mayport, FL (for carrier qualifications) 24 Jul
    Arrv St. John's Bar Cut, Mayport, FL (to unload wrecks) 27 Jul
    Dep St. John's Bar Cut (for carrier qualifications) 28 Jul
    Arrv St. John's Bar Cut (to unload wrecks) 30 Jul
    Dep St. John's Bar Cut (for carrier qualifications) 31 Jul
    Arrv St. John's Bar Cut (to unload wrecks) later moved to Mayport 3 Aug
    Dep Mayport (for carrier qualifications) 8 Aug
    Arrv St. John's Bar Cut (to unload wrecks) 12 Aug
    Dep St. John's Bar Cut (for carrier qualifications) 12 Aug
    Arrv Mayport (for replenisment) 15 Aug
    Dep Mayport (for carrier qualifications) 18 Aug
    Arrv St. John's Bar Cut later moved to Mayport (for replenishment) 22 Aug
    Dep Mayport for Norfolk 26 Aug
    Arrv Norfolk (for repairs and alterations) 28 Aug
    Dep Norfolk for Pensacola, FL (for carrier qualifications) 12 Oct
    Arrv Pensacola (for PVST) 24 Oct
    Dep Dep Pensacola for New Orleans, LA 20 Nov
    Arrv New Orleans (for PVST) 21 Nov
    Dep New Orleans for Pensacola 24 Nov
    Arrv Pensacola (for general upkeep) 25 Nov
       
      1946
       
    Dep Pensacola, FL for Norfolk, VA 25 Jan
    Arrv Norfolk (for decommissioning) 29 Jan
    Moored Norfolk 09 Feb
    Towed to Convoy Escort Pier #22 05 Apr
 
Units: USS Guadalcanal, Escort Division 79 consisting of USS Carter, USS Sutton, USS Niel A. Scott and USS Muir. USS Carter was detached on 25 July to proceed independently to Mayport, FL. On 9 Aug Captain S. S. Miller, USN relieved Captain B. C. McCaffree of Command of USS Guadalcanal.
 
Note: 9 February was the last day of flight operations from USS Guadalcanal
 
The Stowaway
        Aboard the Aircraft Carrier Guadalcanal (CVE-60) doing anti-submarine patrol over the Atlantic in the summer of 1945.
 
        He was on the serving line in the mess hall. I don't even remember if it was the only mess hall on the ship, but I assume it was. Anyway, I guess he might have been a little jealous of the airdales - especially the night fliers. I was one of the airdales, the crew members - radiomen and gunners, who made up a somewhat elite group who perhaps carried themselves with a certain air, not swaggering or arrogant, but a sense of pride and esteem in the job we did. We had certain "perks" such as air-conditioned sleeping quarters, and being able to go eat at odd hours. It was natural that some good-natured bantering took place between the ship's company on the chow line and the airdales. It was also natural, when the exchanges grew a little testy one day, that the "put up or shut up" ultimatum came out. George Briggs of the Bronx, my radioman, and I invited this particular sailor on the line to go with us on a night flight. To our amazement he accepted and we were committed.
        About 2000 that night, we loaded into the plane. Briggs had already stowed an extra chest-pack parachute and a Mae West aboard. I crawled into the turret and Briggs, with his slightly nervous passenger took their places on the little seat in the bilge. In the meantime, our pilot, Jim Nash, of Peoria, Illinois, oblivious to our extra passenger, had started the engine, and in a few minutes was in place on the catapult. As the launch officer twirled his flashlight, the TBM's engine changed from a roar to a deep bellow that announced it was ready for launching. The plane shook with the might of the engine at full throttle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the launch officer's arm slash downward, and at that second, the plane leaped forward as if it were alive and responding on its own. For a couple of gut-wrenching seconds, we were subjected to tremendous acceleration, and then as the force of the forward thrust dissipated and the plane's engine took over, it felt as if we were about to stop in mid-air and fall into the sea. As many times as I experienced a catapult launch, I never got over that same feeling. I can only imagine what our newfound "crew member" was feeling.
        The rest of the flight was relatively uneventful, with the usual search routine. Of course, everything that goes up must come down, and this applies to torpedo bombers in spades. The bad thing about a carrier landing in a TBM is that the crew can not see the landing signal officer (LSO) and help the pilot land this beast. Of course, I'm sure the pilot is profoundly grateful to the designers for their foresight. As the aircraft slides into position in the carrier wake, the pilot turns the flying over to the LSO. His extended arms tell the pilot to raise or lower the port or starboard wings, to keep her steady, when to cut the throttle, or God forbid, to take a wave-off. Then, with wheels and flaps down, the pilot jams the throttle full forward and prays that his old Wright Whirlwind will respond once more.
        But we are blessed with a perfect approach, and when I hear the roar of the engine suddenly abate, I brace for the hook snagging the arresting cable. The upsy-daisy of the back of the aircraft as the cable stops the plane announces that we are not going into the barriers. That makes me feel good. How our fourth member feels at this time is unknown to me.
        We deplane, and no one seems to notice our passenger. We go our separate ways, and I don't recall him saying "thanks" or "goodnight" or "go to hell". But it did seem to me that we were a little more civil to each other in the mess hall from then on.
...Al Wheeler AOM 2/c, VC-6 Squadron
 
TBM flys over wires and skips barriers, crashing into the island during carrier qualifications, 21 August 1945
 
TBM crashes into the Island, 21 August 1945
 
Presidential Unit Citation awarded for the capture of U-505 is hoisted aboard Guadalcanal, 31 July 1945
 
Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to the men of USS Guadalcanal, 1 October 1945
 
Officers at party given by Retail Furnature Dealers of Pensacola, FL, 25 October 1945
 
Sailors cleaning the USS Guadalcanal's hull in drydock, 15 December 1945